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Biology Current Events

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Introduction

Biology Current Events Body Works Health and Fitness Article from the Toronto Star February 15th 2010 The article given to us published in the Toronto Star supplements our classroom learning on the nervous system by giving us a real life application of the knowledge. The article discusses the multiple research initiatives to repair damaged spinal cord nerves. The article argues that if the peripheral nerves in the finger can grow back and join together, there could be hope for the spinal cord. New research conducted by the Neuroscience Network of Canada discovered that the genes in the spinal cord are deactivated while other stop nerve cells from growing and stabilizes the essential nerve connections during adult life. Researchers are trying to find a way to activate the "switched off" genes. Scientist hope to repair nerves by isolating the cells that adults developed as children retain to be transformed into nerve cells outside the body and transplanting them into a damaged brain or spinal cord. ...read more.

Middle

This article adds to my learning of the nervous system, raises social and technological issues and advances and entices me to exercise more frequently to keep my neural links firing for a long time. The article specifically explains how the nerve fibres are developed in the human embryo and the research being done in hopes of repairing a severed spinal cord adds a real life application to my knowledge of the nervous system. The diagram in the article illustrates a clear picture of the relationship between the spinal cord and the neuron which enhances my knowledge of the nervous system. There are moral implications using aborted fetal tissues and harvesting their nerve cells and transplanted in humans. There has been debate about whether it would be proper to use, so to avoid moral dilemmas, scientists discovered other methods to repair damaged nerve fibres. ...read more.

Conclusion

I did not know the structure of DNA could be rearranged to create other molecules. This discovery shows how flexible the DNA structure is; it is really fascinating. I support the idea of synthesizing DNA into other DNA-like molecules to explore the DNA structure and to customize more forms of the structure. This article relates to our learning of DNA, its bases and the basic double helix structure. The article demonstrates that the DNA structure is very flexible and is not just fixed to the general structure we are learning. The discovery of the artificial DNA could be a building framework for constructing medical and nanotechnological structures. Also it creates opportunities to construct more DNA-like molecules that has the ability to store information. The capability to modify DNA's structural characteristics could gives nanotechnologist more control as a material for engineering. It is more evidence of how technologically advanced our world is becoming. ...read more.

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